Waranara school offers a specialist environment for secondary students in Yr 9-12 who are having difficulty staying engaged with school. We recognise that young people experience significant life challenges that impact on their education.
Since educational outcomes are intrinsically linked to wellbeing, Waranara offers support to students across different aspects of their life. This includes personalised teaching and learning support, specialised wellbeing support, and access to specialist adolescent and family counsellors on-site.
At Waranara School we believe all young people have a right to access educational opportunities that positively respond to their individual life circumstances and personal attributes. Our school welcomes students from all backgrounds, including those who may have previously encountered obstacles achieving their education goals.
We seek to provide intensive academic and personal support that helps students to achieve their best learning and life outcomes.
What makes Waranara School different?
● A personalised education environment that is supportive, flexible and respectful
● We are responsive to the diverse needs of individual students
● Our school staff is committed to providing flexible educational activities and strategies for young people with a broad range of learning styles, capacities and strengths
● We offer young people practical support and clear pathways to identify and address other personal, family or structural issues that may have a negative impact on their educational engagement.
Waranara still provides traditional educational activities, like:
● Qualified teachers and learning support staff
● Access to accredited education credentials, including the Record Of School Achievement, High School Certificate (HSC) and access to vocational studies for Yr.11 & 12 students
● Recreational and social activities
● Student leadership/Peer mentoring program
● On completion of school, support from the Transition Support Coordinator to work towards your preferred education and employment pathways.
What to Expect at Waranara School
Waranara also has a number of characteristics that vary from other education environments. These include:
Small Student Population
Student numbers are capped at a maximum of 60 enrolments. This means that all young people can be provided with the maximum levels of personalised support, in a school learning environment that is primarily structured for small-group activities.
High Staff-Student Ratio
To cater to the diverse needs of students, we operate with a high ratio of staff and volunteers within the classroom setting. This ensures that young people will always have access to personalised and intensive support, equipping them to more easily overcome learning difficulties and barriers, and achieve their education goals.
Flexible alternative education environment
We provide students with additional flexibility in a number of areas, including:
• uniform-free environment
• shorter school day for year 9 & 10
• Compressed model of study for year 11 & 12
• personalised learning plans/study support strategies
• voluntary homework policy.
Additional Pastoral Care and Social Support
Students are able to access on-going health and well-being support through Good Shepherd’s on-site counselling and wellbeing support workers. These staff members can work with our students upon request, to address a broad range of issues that may be impacting their educational engagement or personal well-being.
Staff members seek to work collaboratively with parents/carers, wherever possible, to ensure young people are able to achieve the best personal and educational outcomes possible. This may involve regular consultation meetings and conversations between school staff and parents/carers throughout the school year, as well as the provision of additional relevant individual support and advice to family members upon request.
All students and their families have access these programs and services if required, including Counselling services:
● Adolescent and Family Counselling
● Drug and Alcohol Counselling
● Sexual Assault Counselling
● Parenting Workshops
● Financial counselling for those in financial difficulties
● School-based mental health education and support workshops
The application process includes:
Completion of Referral Form, collecting information about the students educational record and personal history
Intake interview with student and parents/carers
Stakeholder Consultation (with former school)
3 week trial period at Waranara School and follow up meeting
Internal review with Waranara School teachers and counselors
Read our report on the challenges and opportunities facing children and young people.
Download our report to learn how youth in their younger and middle years can be better supported.
Read our research on ways of improving youth engagement at school.